Why is there a Movement for a Ban in New York State Now?
On July 23, 2008 Governor Paterson signs bill to update the 1992 drilling laws to address the new, “unconventional” gas drilling involving horizontal hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale and other similarly ‘impervious’ rock and tight sand formations in New York State. Fracturing a Marcellus gas well can require more than 3 million gallons and a single well can be fractured as many as eight times. When the DEC’s last impact statement was released in 1992, a typical well required only about 80,000 gallons of water.
In September, 2009, the 800-plus page draft review was issued. Drilling in New York’s portion of the Marcellus has been on hold pending the review, but environmentalists say the draft raises more questions than it answers. In its letter to Paterson, the coalition says the review fails to address the cumulative impacts of drilling, include a meaningful assessment of alternatives, consider the possibility of contamination of drinking water supplies, and fully assess the potential for air quality, traffic and noise impacts.
A group of pro-drilling environmentalists organizations (including the Natural Resources Defense Council) asked Governor Paterson to tell DEC to set aside the review, put a 12-month moratorium on issuing new drilling permits, and work with experts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create a new environmental impact statement.
We believe that politicians reviewing the threat of gas drilling to our region, including gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Cuomo owe their allegiance primarily to voters and the general population and not to land owners and the gas industry.
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